A Healthy Diet For Dental (And Overall) Health}

Submitted by: Russell Roderick

One of the things you should do to maintain your oral and overall- health is to eat well. The difficulty is, nobody really knows what eating well means because each of us has different nutritional needs and eating well to one person could mean eating poorly to another. However, eating well should mean eating in moderation, both in the quantity and quality of the foods we eat.

It means reading the nutritional labels describing the contents of whats in the food you purchase.

If theres something that you dont know or recognize in your food, then its probably best not to buy it. Many pre-packaged foods have fillers and dyes to make them feel good or look good. The food and drug administration doesnt do long term testing of these products. Instead, they only ask the manufacturers to prove that the products are digestible. A good example of a filler in foods is propylene glycol. Its a major ingredient of antifreeze- not great for your mouth or your overall well-being.

One of the real misleading misconceptions is that if a food is labeled as diet or light that it means it is healthy. The marketers (the people who make up the ads that entice us to buy products) have done a superb job of convincing the public that the word diet on a food label implies health for you, when in reality it just means less calories, but not necessarily better for you nutritionally. Just eat less of the good stuff. Another example is diet colas versus regular colas. They both contain food coloring, acid, and secret ingredients- terrible for your teeth and terrible for your bones as well.

When you have infection, pus, and or bleeding in your gums, your body is trying to heal, and the healing comes from within our bodies. A medical professional only aids the body in doing what it does internally for healing. Exercise and a healthy diet play crucial roles in your bodys daily functions, including infection control and self-repair. Your diet can certainly play a role in your overall dental health, and according to a study done by the UCLA Health System, the top 10 foods to live a longer, healthier life are:

1. Almonds

packed with nutrients such as fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

one serving provides half of your bodys Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E

2. Apples

great source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels

lots of vitamin C- acts as antioxidant to protect your bodys cells from damage

helps form the connective tissue collagen

keeps capillaries and blood vessels healthy

aids in iron absorption

3. Bananas

great source of potassium, phytonutrients

full of resistance starch, which helps you feel full, aids digestion, and promotes GI health

4. Blueberries

source of phytonutrients which may prevent urinary tract infections

may improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging

low calorie source of fiber and vitamin C

5. Broccoli

source of calcium, potassium, folate, and fibe

vitamins A and C

may prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers

6. Beans

good source of iron magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and thiamin

excellent low-fat, low calorie fiber source

7. Beets

betacyanin gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color and is a powerful cancer fighting agent

source of B vitamin folate, maganese, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, and potassium

8. Spinach

great source of vitamins A & C, folate, riboflavin, calcium, iron, and magnesium

may help boost immune system and keep hair and skin healthy

9. Sweet potatoes

orange-yellow color due to antioxidant beta carotene

source of fiber, vitamins B6, C, and E, folate, potassium

fat-free, low cal

10. Wheat Germ

part of the seed responsible for development and growth of new plant sprouts

highly concentrated source of nutrients including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, iron, and zinc

Dr. Roderick of Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Phoenix recommends to look for fresh, and if possible, organic versions of these foods to avoid problems with pesticides and additives. However, if something is out of season, frozen fruits and vegetables are a great way to eat healthy all year long. So the take home message here: read the labels (before you buy), eat the good stuff (but only half as much- share the rest with a loved one), and drink lots of good water. You will notice an improvement in your dental health, as well as the health of your entire body.

About the Author: Dr. Roderick of Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ (


) is a graduate from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine with a Doctorate of Dental Medicine, as well as a graduate of the Pacific Aesthetic Continuum.He has invested over 2,000 hours to date in quality continuing education, concentrating on aesthetics, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dental implants, periodontal (gum) therapy and oral care as it relates to cardiac and systemic diseases. He has earned his Fellowship in Academy of General Dentistry accreditation, and he is on the track to earning his Mastership. Additionally, he has earned his Advanced Education in General Dentistry Certificate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry.



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